Physiotherapy prevents or lessens some of the physical problems that are associated with injury, disease, disability, birth defects or long periods of inactivity. Physiotherapy is concerned with both rehabilitation and prevention. It is used whenever mobility, independence and physical fitness are important. The terms "physiotherapy" and "physical therapy" mean the same thing.

Physiotherapy can help you:

• become stronger and more flexible
• increase your freedom of movement and mobility
• breathe easier
• reduce pain
• stay active
• prevent injury

…so you can
return to work,
leisure or home

Physiotherapists work in:

private clinics
• hospitals
• rehabilitation centres
• long-term care facilities
• homecare programs
• schools
• child development centres
• industry
• recreation centres


Physiotherapists are trained professionals who work in partnership with you (and your family, if necessary). Every practicing physiotherapist in the Maritime Provinces has graduated from an accredited university degree program (or its equivalent) in physiotherapy. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages. Some are experts in different areas, such as:

back and neck care
• ergonomics*
• neurology
• repetitive strain injuries
• sports physiotherapy
• heart and lung care
• mobilization
• orthopedics
• therapeutic exercise
• postural training

*Ergonomics means adapting the work place or home to the needs of the individual.

Physiotherapists often work in teams
with other health professionals
to help you meet your
health care needs.

Your first

Your first appointment is all about assessment, physical diagnosis and treatment.


The physiotherapist will ask you about your problem(s) and how it occurred, your current symptoms, your health history and the physical requirements of your job and leisure activities. She or he will then carefully look at, touch and test the affected area(s).

Physical Diagnosis

Your physiotherapist will talk with you about what the problem is and how to deal with it. Then the two of you will set the goals of your treatment together. Be sure you understand everything the physiotherapist is saying. In addition, ask some questions of your own.

What results can I expect?
How long before I see these results?
What can I do on my own to help the process?

After physical diagnosis, your physiotherapist will start your treatment. It should be tailor-made to meet your special needs. Consent for treatment is required before the physiotherapist can proceed. If you don't understand something, or if the procedure causes any discomfort, tell your physiotherapist.


Your physiotherapist will listen to your needs before planning your treatment. The treatment plan will usually include exercise, and could also include education, ergonomic counseling, group exercise programs and prevention strategies. Your physiotherapist has many treatments to choose from. He or she will select the best ones for your particular needs. Your physiotherapist will explain a treatment to you before doing it. If there's anything you don't understand, please ask. The treatment may be simple and straightforward or very complex, depending on your needs. You will always be actively involved in your treatment.

Paying For Treatment

The cost of your physiotherapy treatment may be partly or completely covered by one or more of the following:

• W.C.B. (Worker's Compensation Board of Nova Scotia)
• Department of Veterans Affairs, Government of Canada
• Private insurance coverage
• Third party payers (i.e. motor vehicle insurance)

      Check with our secretary about payment plans.


Everyone has access to physiotherapy in a variety of settings. Each province has legislation/regulations that determine if you need a physician's referral. In Nova Scotia you have direct access to physiotherapy but for insurance funding you will require a doctor's referral.

You have the freedom to choose your physiotherapist. Friends, family, co-workers, your doctor and other health care providers can advise you on your choice. No matter how you access a physiotherapist, you can be assured of high quality treatment from a licensed health care professional.

Making It Work

Your body is not like a car - it can't be dropped off with the physiotherapist and picked up once its fixed. Good physiotherapy is a partnership between you and your physiotherapist, and the partnership needs your active involvement. There are few things you can do to get the most out of your physiotherapy visits:

• During treatments give your physiotherapist feedback about how it feels. Always discuss your progress with your physiotherapist.
• Speak up about anything you are concerned about or don't understand. Physiotherapists in the Maritime Provinces are obligated to explain treatments and procedures to your satisfaction - but they can't read your minds.
• Make a note if anything unusual happens between visits. Most people don't write these things down, and forget before they see their physiotherapist again.

Your physiotherapist may instruct you in some exercises at the appropriate time. Be sure to go over them carefully so you understand what to do and how often to do it.

You're in
                good hands


Physiotherapists have been putting Canadians back in motion for over seventy five years. Over 750 physiotherapists are currently listed to practice in the Maritime Provinces.

The quality of physiotherapy treatment is regulated by the Provincial Licensing bodies. They set and enforce educational and practice standards to protect the public interest. Every physiotherapist must be licensed by their Provincial Licensing Body.

The majority of physiotherapists in the Maritime Provinces are members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and its Provincial Branches. Their mandate is to advance the delivery of physiotherapy services by promoting excellence in education, research and clinical practice.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association
N.S. Branch
Suite 740
5991 Spring Garden Rd.
Halifax, NS
B3H 1Y6